A small swath of the Rockaways have been emblazoned with the colors of a fiery sunset thanks to German artist Katharina Grosse. Called Rockaway!, the funky, eye-popping piece of artwork presented by MoMA PS1 splashes a derelict Sandy-damaged building in vibrant hues inspired by the contrasting relationship between nature and architecture. A radiant mix of white, magenta, and red paint flows over the entire structure and into the surrounding landscape, mimicking the ebb and flow of the stormy waves that overtook the area four years ago.
As the artist and her team painted the structure, which is located on the former Fort Tilden military base, they worked carefully around the natural landscape as to not cause damage. Grosse says that her work is more than just spreading multi-hued spray paint over old buildings. In fact, she has crafted a unique and respectful way to use abandoned buildings as mediums for her art. “I want painting to be such an important part of our lives, not only in museums, but inscribed on the environment,” she explained.
Grosse has installed her colorful installations around the world. In fact, MoMA PS1 Director Klaus Biesenbach became familiar with Grosse’s work in New Orleans after she painted a home that had been severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “She had applied gold and yellow colors and gave this abandoned building such a temporary glowing beauty,” he said of her work.
Unfortunately, the empty shell of the former aquatics building that is currently housing Rockaway! is slated for demolition after the installation closes on November 30th.